Monday, January 16, 2006

Early "Relevant" Comics

Although the more famous "relevant" comics came at the end of the Silver Age, there were several earlier attempts. Here's an amusing story from Superman #114, July 1957:

Not even Superman can avoid the taxman! In the story, Superman owes a billion dollars to the government, and must pay up by the next day. But every time he tries getting something valuable he finds a better use for it than paying the debt--hospitals need the radium he digs out of the ground, for example. In the end, a compromise is reached.

This is only one of several Silver Age stories I can think of that featured the emerging snares of the postwar era. For example, in Batman #91, the Caped Crusader had to deal with "Batman's Publicity Agent", an overagressive promoter. In the following issue, "The Fan Mail of Danger", Batman is forced to hire a secretary when his fanmail starts to pile up. There was also a story about Superman at some point where he had to purchase life insurance, and as a result the insurance company begins bugging him not to engage in so many risky events.

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